Opening Statements

Hearsay: January 2014

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Say What?

“Well, I don’t like the Supreme Court. I don’t think it’s a real court. I think of it as basically … it’s like a House of Lords. It’s a quasi-political body. President, Senate, House of Representatives, Supreme Court. It’s very political. And they decide which cases to hear, which doesn’t strike me as something judges should do. You should take what comes. When you decide which case to hear, it means you’ve decided the cases ahead of time.”

—7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner in “How I Write,” The Daily Beast, Nov. 7.

That’s Fishy

The Food and Drug Administration and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s “Seafood List” allows 37 different species of fish to be labeled as perch, 45 species to be labeled as snapper and 70 to be labeled as grouper.

Source: “U.S. Seafood Naming Rules: Do They Provide Real Guidance for the Seafood Industry?” The Fish Site, Nov. 4.

Test Your Knowledge

What is the current federal minimum wage?

(a) $3.50/hour
(b) $7.25/hour
(c) $12/hour

How many states have minimum wages that are equal to or greater than the federal minimum wage?

(a) 41
(b) 20
(c) 5

What state currently has the highest minimum wage?

(a) Connecticut
(b) Washington
(c) California

Answers: b; a; b.

Source: Laner Muchin’s “The Fast Laner,” Oct. 1.


Detroit’s Chapter 9 filing may be the most expensive in U.S. history.

Here’s why:

The city has $18 billion in debt.

As of October, vendors involved in the bankruptcy had billed the city more than $19 million, including some $3.6 million in legal fees from one law firm for a four-month period.

Source: New York Times, Oct. 8.

Survey Says

  • * 34% of Americans believe the U.S. government is doing a good job protecting the privacy rights of its citizens.
  • * 70% say the government is doing a good job protecting voting rights.
  • * 44% believe the government is doing a good job protecting the right to bear arms.
  • * 40% believe the government is doing a good job protecting against unreasonable search and seizures.
  • * 43% believe the government is doing a good job protecting equal rights.

Source: Balancing Act: The Public’s Take on Civil Liberties and Security (PDF), the Associated Press-National Opinion Research Center for Public Affairs Research, Sept. 10.

Did You Know?

Some 43 percent of law review articles have never been cited in another article or in a judicial decision.

Source: New York Times, Oct. 21.

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